This information on GAP Year resources and volunteer opportunities is being provided by a third party and as an educational resource only. Not all programs listed are NATSAP members. We ask that our audience conduct due diligence as they look at the many opportunities available to them.

Friends, it’s summer in the northern hemisphere and all of us are wanting to support our clients (or our own teens/twenties who need to be occupied!) through COVID.  Gap programs, both non-therapeutic and “soft support” exist, and I wanted to share these updates.  These may be known to you; the weekly Gap Year Association zoom meetings have important Gap year and hybrid-Gap updates and generous sharing occurs, see below.  

  • Gap Year Association,, continues to provide updates and links for us on line, they have jumped from 69% increase in interest (as have Gap programs) to 82% increase in interest this past week. COVID uncertainty of course, but young people are getting informed and integrating this option into post-stabilization treatment as well as deferral from college for Fall 2020.  IT IS WORTH being a $25/year or $75/year member to participate in these weekly updates and access to information.  Go to website to see provider updates as well.
  • Summer volunteering WWOOF farming opportunities are increasing in the US:; I have been monitoring for weeks and young adults can do short term weekends or months-2 months engagements with room and board provided, no supervision but often living with a stable couple/family.  One post-therapeutic stable client just left for a 2 month gig after doing weekends as a first stage.  Therapy and coaching will continue virtually of course with you and some of your clients, as I do with mine.
  • GYA is working closely with Americorp and JobCorp to consolidate summer opportunities, dates and announcements to come, keep watching websites for the 4 and 6 week programs as they get full quickly.  In Colorado a 6 week internship for contact tracing work is being launched–again, keep checking the website as this is constantly developing.
  •, Eco-Institute:  several summer opportunities, some are waitlisted, and in the time of COVID they are watching and may add segments
  • Connects, a 28 day wilderness “light therapy” summer experience starting 7/1/20 for young adults 18-25 provided by New Visions Wilderness,
  • Borderlands, a Carpe Diem 8 week program,, for Fall 2020 and Spring 2020, if your client has interest apply now.
  • Pure Life in Costa Rica is relaunching 8/31:, contact Carrie Weatherhead,
  • Discovery Campus of Pacific Discovery,, has domestic offerings in several places starting 8/17, with guidance of “select your top three locations in US” as this will be interest-adapted with locations running if group capacity achieved.
  • Idaho Leadership/Internship available now,, with Randy Russell.  5 day week 9-5pm curriculum with weekends both managed and self-guided, room for 2-3 more young men or women.
  • Planned re-opening for Israel this summer, American Israel Gap Year Association,–sponsors.html, Phyllis Folb is updating us regularly.
  • Wisdom Ranch,, Montana internships/support program.
  • NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) is accepting for July in Rocky Mountains and Alaska:
  • Available now: Oregon/Scotland Fall Semester 9/2020: is collaborating with domestic internship providers combined with guided Cascades mountain and river excursions, culminating in November 2 week private transport to Scotland outer Hebrides with caravan transportation, for a COVID Fall semester in addition to their year round internships with residential support. Excursions starting July 1.
  • Irish Gap Year reports planned opening,, with optimism that their program will adjust to base operations in Ireland and “wait and see” for the European Explorations component.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and of course there is so much more–this summary is what I have from the “COVID phase 1-2 and loosening of restrictions” info that I’ve been tracking most recently through these useful Zoom meetings as a GYA attendee.  So many good international programs are on hold, waiting, others are contained/controlled as a group and will be “based” rather than itinerary composed.  Many domestic opportunities will hopefully yet exist and be announced. I want to recognize the good people of GYA, the Gap year guides and programs that have participated in these resourcing Zoom meetings and their generous sharing of information.

Sarah Persha


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